The Muppet Show Versus Swedish House Mafia


As Susan readied her school backpack Sunday night, she mentioned feeling anxious about their Monday morning concert.

“What are you talking about it?” I asked.

“Tomorrow our guitar ensemble performs at the Music Festival.”


Although all the technology exists, there are so many calendars, schedules and websites to consult, things still manage to creep up on me.

Mojo and I wanted to see whether our guitar lesson investments have paid off.  We reorganized our morning and made it over to the Senior School in time to see the eleven Senior Ensembles play.


The ensembles ranged from classical flute and strings to rock and roll and were equally divided between St Christopher’s School and the British School of Bahrain.  St Chris students are known for their success completing the British ABRMs’ programs.  While BSB’s music program recently gained momentum on the international stage.

James Arthur, the 2012 British X Factor winner, began his musical career at the British School of Bahrain.  During the X Factor, he talked about his four, golden years of living in Bahrain.  After his mother and step-father divorced, he and his mother moved back to the UK.  Like many Third Culture Kids, their return to “regular life” was a shock, and he became difficult.  His mother kicked him out of the house.  He credits music to turning his life around and getting him off London’s streets.

bsb deema and saiyf

BSB is mentoring more, potential X Factor stars including Gershom, the young man with over-sized Ray Bans, who sang and accompanied every group on either the guitar or the piano.  Under Lydia Martin’s musical leadership, BSB played songs by White Stripes, Swedish House Mafia, FM Static and Luminate.  Each ensemble also had a catchy name: Against the Tide, 50/50, Noise Pollution, Ehsan and the Rest, and The Getaway.


On the other hand, St Chris’ ensemble entrants performed as Senior Flutes, String Trio and Saxophone Ensemble covering a range from Haydn, Gershwin, as well as traditional English and Arabic pieces.  The closest thing to a rock band was the guitar ensemble who played Coldplay’s Paradise.


Our whole clan was part of the Paradise performance.  Mark happily surprised us playing a lead part.  Although, we got a kick out of the St Chris’ brass ensemble’s rendition of the 1976 Muppet Show theme song, admittedly, BSB’s pop and rock numbers were crowd pleasers and had the audience clapping and snapping photos.

After the eleven groups played, the two adjudicators put their heads together.  I wondered how they would view the different song choices.

Coming up, they said, “As always, the variety of music makes it hard to judge.”

They said, “We looked at little things like ‘communications between the group’ and ‘looking at the audience’.

So the Winner was?


Gershom, Yannis, Daniel, Paul and Saiyf, also known as BSB’s Noise Pollution, for their original song, Ocean Wave.


Second place was a tie between St Christopher’s Arabic Drummers and Arnold Brass.

Third place was BSB’s Getaway who played My Heart Says Go

The four ensemble finalists along with the finalists from the other twelve categories will be playing Wednesday at 2:30 at St Christopher’s Junior School.  Come and see the new generation of X-Factor contestants.

About St Christopher’s Music Festival 2013

Each year St Christopher’s School hosts three music festivals plus several musical productions.  The Music Festival open to schools in Bahrain has started and leads into next month’s Young Musicians of the Gulf which is an international competition.

This year’s participants include the British School of Bahrain under Lydia Martin, Nadeen School, Sacred Heart, Al Hekma, the Japanese School, New Millennium School, AMA International School, Amna Bint Wahab School, Ibn Khuldoon and Hidd Secondary Girls’ School are all participating.  There are 233 entries grouped by Junior and Senior Ensembles, Instrumental, Vocal and Piano.

At the conclusion of each category’s performances, the winners are named.  The Grand Finale takes place this Wednesday at 2:30pm at St Christopher’s Junior School in Sar.


Signs of Change – Promises to Our Mother


Walking out of St Christopher’s Art Exhibit I noticed a Ritz Cracker box hanging in the frangipani tree.


Carefully stepping on the ice plants, I leaned in for a closer look.  The cardboard were cut in the shapes of leaves.  On the blank side, children pledged to become more conscious consumers – although it was probably not taught to them using those words.



Teach the children so they will bring their lessons home.

There is still time to see the annual Student Art Exhibits at both the Junior School in Sar and the Senior School in Isa Town.

Reception Hands to Year 6 Batiks

St Christopher’s Art

To Erin for Writing Her Name

St Christopher’s School ends the year highlighting the children’s achievements.  Although academics are stressed, every child is encouraged to explore and pursue another talent whether in music, art, drama or sports.

This year’s Junior School Art Exhibit is outstanding.  I was impressed by the innovative projects which still allowed the children to do the work themselves.  The work is displayed so every child made a contribution.  And the pieces are hung with a professional eye.

It is a wonderful exhibit.  If you are in Sar, it is worth it to stop in and see it.

The Junior School’s production of Oliver is coming up June 25 and 26.


Tales by Chapter

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